State Representatives Patti Komline (R - Dorset), Cynthia Browning (D - Bennington-4) and Jeff Wilson (D - Bennington-4) and State Senators Robert Hartwell (D- Bennington) and Richard Sears (D-Bennington) are all running unopposed this year.
Several reasons may account for this, both legislators and political operatives say.
When asked why there were not any Republican candidates to challenge either Browning or Wilson for the House seats or Sears or Wilson for the State Senate, Chairman of the Vermont Republican Party Jack Lindley indicated that the state GOP was focusing its efforts where there was the greatest likelihoood of success.
"What's going on with the Republican Party is we're entirely focused on picking up districts where we can succeed," said Lindley. "It's a big Democratic presence [in those districts.] There's no question about that. Our resources are limited. As chairman I'm very focused on certain districts ... and some districts we can't just honestly get to right now."
On the opposite side of the aisle, Bennington County Democratic Chairwoman Amelia Silver said she was not surprised that a Democratic candidate did not emerge to challenge Komline.
"I believe it was up in the air if Patti was going to run again up until the last minute," said Silver. "Her decision to run and the financial
Further complicating the problem of finding potential candidates is the challege of trying to serve in the Legislature while balancing work and family life. "It's hard to get people to run for the Legislature in Vermont," said Silver. "Unless you have a job that allows you six months off and then supports you most of the year it's hard to do it."
While Wilson believes that part of the reason there are uncontested races is because people are satisfied with their representation, he also spoke of the difficulty of serving in the legislature.
"It's just difficult to run for state representative or state senator ... and at the same time try to hold down a full time job," said Wilson. "Some people can juggle that. Others don't have that luxury."
Wilson also did not believe that the reapportionment process that occurred this year - which resulted in the Bennington-4 district becoming a two member district - acted as a deterent for potential candidates.
"They had plenty of opportunities to get petitions together and file them. It only takes 50 signatures for a [a candidate to run for] state representative," said Wilson. "I don't see that as a factor really."
Komline said one of the things that could help attract new candidates was if there was a specific start and end date to the Legislative Session. She said that would allow business owners especially - who are an underepresented segment of the legislature - to take a leave of absence and enable them to serve in the legislature.
Komline said business owners - and young business owners in particular - bring a unique perspective to the legislature that is needed.
"They bring real life experience," Komline said. "A lot of people up there make decisions and don't have the practical experience to determine how the decisions will impact businesses."